Peace Activist Defends Paying Palestinian Terrorists
Lara Friedman is the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Previously, she was the director of policy and government relations at Americans for Peace Now.
Since Friedman clearly loves peace so much, you would think that she would be against anything that promotes violence.
But, as with many Middle East topics, words like “peace” do not mean what you might think they do.
Here is what Friedman wrote in The Nation last month:
[F]unding for families of those killed or imprisoned by Israel represents a critical social safety net. Removing it would amount to collective punishment, illegal under international law and viewed by most of the world as immoral.
Yes, Friedman is saying that forcing the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop paying the families of terrorists would amount to “collective punishment.”
It’s almost hard to respond to an argument so ridiculous, but obviously this wouldn’t be collective punishment — it would be basic justice.
Friedman tries to justify her position by claiming that since so many Palestinians have been imprisoned, these payments are really more like social programs than rewarding terror:
It is a fact that Israeli military forces detain an extraordinary number of Palestinians, often for long periods without any due process. Many are convicted in military courts that have nearly a 100 percent conviction rate. According to Palestinian sources, Israel has arrested 40 percent of the male Palestinian population since 1967. This is in addition to Palestinians killed while attacking, or accused of attacking, Israeli targets.
First of all, her source for that “40 percent” statistic is a complete and utter lie that Addameer has been pushing for years. The group has absolutely no polls, studies or statistics to support this lie. It is pure propaganda.
Secondly, the Palestinian payments are for families of current prisoners — of which there are only around 6,000 — plus the families of “martyrs” who died while killing, or trying to kill, Israelis. The PA also pays salaries to prisoners who have been released.
Indeed, the Palestinian law to pay salaries to families of prisoners defines prisoners as “anyone incarcerated in the occupation’s prisons for his participation in the struggle against the occupation.” The PA isn’t claiming that these prisoners are imprisoned for no reason, as Friedman implies in her article. Instead, they are proud of their “struggle,” which is a code word for “terrorism.”
Friedman’s arguments are fundamentally pro-terror. This is a curious position for someone who pretends to be pro-peace. But when anti-Israel activists pretend to be pro-peace, they are really saying that they support Palestinians only — and they therefore support and defend a sick and perverted Palestinian society where murderers are at the top of the social pyramid.
Lara Friedman is not pro-peace. She is a fraud who tacitly condones enabling and praising the murderers of Jews.
(h/t Noah Pollak via Ian)